Synopses & Reviews
I Married a Communist
is the story of the rise and fall of Ira Ringold, a big American roughneck who begins life as a teenage ditch-digger in 1930s Newark, becomes a big-time 1940s radio star, and is destroyed, as both a performer and a man, in the McCarthy witchhunt of the 1950s.
In his heyday as a star—and as a zealous, bullying supporter of "progressive" political causes—Ira marries Hollywood's beloved silent-film star, Eve Frame. Their glamorous honeymoon in her Manhattan townhouse is shortlived, however, and it is the publication of Eve's scandalous bestselling exposé that identifies him as "an American taking his orders from Moscow."
In this story of cruelty, betrayal, and revenge spilling over into the public arena from their origins in Ira's turbulent personal life, Philip Roth—who Commonweal calls the "master chronicler of the American twentieth century—has written a brilliant fictional protrayal of that treacherous postwar epoch when the anti-Communist fever not only infected national politics but traumatized the intimate, innermost lives of friends and families, husbands and wives, parents and children.
"I Married a Communist is filled with passages as fine and sharp as anything Roth has ever written (which is to say, as fine and sharp as anything in contemporary American literature)." The Village Voice Literary Supplement
"His latest novel is a bitter, often funny, always engrossing story that wonderfully evokes a time and place in our common past...What I Married a Communist tells us above all is that Philip Roth is very much with us as a writer, every bit as contemporary and vital as he was when he began...Philip Roth remains as edgy, as furious, as funny, and as dangerous as he was 40 yeares ago." Robert Stone,
New York Review of Books